BLACKFOOT — Bingham County residents proved generous in their donations to the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign.
More than $4,200 in donations were collected from the kettles—$1,700 more than last year.
The Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency's Bingham County office is the local Salvation Army service extension. SEICAA coordinates volunteers for the kettles and collects and distributes the funds collected to the local community.
"My goal was to go over $4,000," Bingham County SEICAA Program Coordinator Bobette Jackson said. "Next year we would like to hit $5,000."
Jackson attributes the increase in donations to the increase in volunteers who offered their time to staff the kettles and to ring bells.
"We had more volunteers this year," Jackson said. The kettles were staffed nearly every day between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Jackson said student volunteers from Snake River High School made a big impact.
"Those high school kids really did a lot," she said.
The funds collected at the kettles stay in Bingham County and provides assistance to those in need. Funds are used to purchase turkeys to distribute for Thanksgiving, to supply schoolchildren with book bags and supplies and to provide emergency assistance. Jackson said funds collected from the campaign were used to provide temporary housing for two homeless families over Christmas.
More money collected this year means more people will be able to receive assistance.
"That will make a big difference," Jackson said.